Even on my hippest day, the truth is that I’m still hopelessly preppy. Particularly when warm weather hits, I suddenly envision myself summering (and yes, using “summering” as a verb) in the Hamptons, strolling the streets in chic tunics, shirt dresses, and maybe even the occasional piece of seersucker.
The Hamptons might be a bit of a pipe dream, but my preppy fantasy came true when I found J.McLaughlin. This site is an absolute dream when it comes to uptown summer style. Tunics, simple sundresses, stylish shirtdresses, clean and simple totes – all in gorgeously bright shades and patterns that are spot-on perfect for summer.
Since I’m always wary of recommending new brands to you unless I have firsthand knowledge of their fabulousness, I asked J.McLaughlin if I could try out their classic Gilchrist shirt dress, and they were kind enough to agree. Ladies – it is simply the best shirt dress I’ve found, bar none.
Those of us with curves? Yep this one fits! Miraculously and perfectly, without bunching or straining at the buttons when you sit. And it’s so very comfortable! The secret is that, while it looks like a classic broadcloth cotton, it’s actually a nylon/spandex blend. Which means, in addition to gorgeous drape and no wrinkles…stretch! It’s good, friends. In fact, it’s put me off every other shirt dress in my closet. Fortunately, they come out with this style in new prints every season, so I can start stocking up. Sizing tip: I do suggest trusting their measurements. I went up a size based on their charts, and it was the right call.
Based on my love of their shirt dress, it’s no surprise that I have serious affection for most of their other dresses…most notably this dip-dyed linen dress, which might be the prettiest thing I’ve seen this summer.
But the summer goodness doesn’t stop with their dresses. Their line of accessories is pitch-perfect in so many ways. At least half of my summer is always spent searching for the perfect tote. My favorite piece is their monogrammed Aken tote – preppy overload in the best possible way. It’s a stylish step up from the ubiquitous LLBean boat tote, with a nubby linen fabric and chic leather straps, but every bit as functional. I’ve been looking for a tote exactly like this for years – when I finally found it at J.McLaughlin, it was like all my years of detective work had finally paid off.
It looks like they’re having a pretty fabulous summer sale right now as well, with deals on that pretty shirt dress and their adorable striped Sea Shore Tunic, which is probably the next “must” on my list.
What do you see that you can’t live without?